PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — A former Phillies great is now a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Former Phillies first baseman Jim Thome was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
“I couldn’t be happier for Jim, who is like a son to me. This is totally deserving and, for me, ranks up there with anything I’ve ever seen happen in the game of baseball. For someone that I met as a 19-year-old and saw improve as much as anyone over time, it makes me smile to think that all that hard work, all those swings in the batting cage, is now paying off for him. I started thinking this was possible after he hit his 500th home run and for the day to finally be here, it’s like winning the World Series all over again,” said former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel.
Thome will be inducted along with Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman.
Designated hitter Edgar Martinez came close after a grass-roots campaign to boost him. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, both tainted by the steroids scandal, edged up but again fell far short.
Jones and Thome made it 54 players elected in their first year of eligibility by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Jones was an eight-time All-Star third baseman for the Atlanta Braves. Thome hit 612 home runs, putting him eighth on the career list, and played mostly for the Cleveland Indians.
Guerrero was elected in his second try. The nine-time All-Star slugger played half his career with the Montreal Expos.
Hoffman was chosen in his third year. The former San Diego Padres closer had 601 saves, second all-time to Mariano Rivera’s 652.
The Hall announced the voting results Wednesday. The four new members will be inducted on July 29 in Cooperstown, New York.
The 2018 class will be inducted on Sunday, July 29 in Cooperstown.
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